Boondocking in the Woods of Northern Michigan

Wanna know what makes boondocking even more fun? Sharing it with your granddaughters.

The two track we took in
The two track we took in

We retreated to our favorite boondocking spot in Michigan, some family property up in the woods of Ogemaw County, about a dozen miles east of West Branch. The 200-acre spread takes up both sides of the Rifle River and borders state land so we really can escape.

Our kids all grew up coming up here every weekend Jenifer and I could so it was a special treat to take Hua Hua, 13, and Rachel, 10, to the their Mom, Wendy’s, favorite spot. We hiked with the girls and found the exact location where we used to camp in a pop-up, took a photo and texted it to their mom.

 

Bo guarding the site
Bo guarding the site

The boondocking campsite we use is very remote, two miles off a two lane state road on a county road, then a mile into the woods on a two-track overlooking a bend of the river along a high sandy bank. Bo gets to run free, off leash.

Later on, when we did a Facebook Live video feed from the site, son, Jeffrey, who also grew up camping up here, was among the live viewers, watching with his 17-month-old daughter, Jovie, who will also surely come here some day.

Here’s our Facebook Live video feed:

Hua Hua, who is the family artist, began a colored pencil drawing of our Roadtrek that I will hang on my office wall.

We made our favorite camping meal, Jennifer’s “Boondocking Bonanza,” a mix of hamburger, canned corn, sliced potatoes and onions that we wrap up tight in tin foil and stick in the fire or on a grill.

At night, we made S’mores around the campfire, told some stories and headed inside the Roadtrek to watch a DVD of Narnia before bedtime

 

Our campsite
Our campsite

The temperature dropped to 45 degrees overnight.

The girls were toasty comfy in the Roadtrek, Hua Hua and Jennifer slept on the two beds in the back. Rachel slept on a four inch thick mattress-pad that we put across the two front seats.

 

Our foil wrapped Boondocking Bonanaza meals
Our foil wrapped Boondocking Bonanaza meals

Mike and Bo’s spent the night in tent. It was a mixed experience. Bo loved it, curled up sled-dog style next to Mike, who tossed and turned all night long on the hard ground because he disregarded Jennifer’s suggestion to bring an air mattress and instead settled for an inadequate inch and a half thick foam pad.

 

The high banks view of the Rifle River
The high banks view of the Rifle River

Lesson learned.

Great time had by all, though, with lots of memories.

We all love to hike and explore
We all love to hike and explore
Bo loves being free!
Bo loves being free!

 

64 thoughts on “Boondocking in the Woods of Northern Michigan”

  1. How about some details on that dinner? Do you add any seasoning, butter, etc. Cooking technique?

    Sounds like a great outing!

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